UPDATE 1-Australia's AMP says De Ferrari remains CEO, rejects talk of his exit

(Recasts with AMP comment)

March 25 (Reuters) - Australia’s AMP Ltd said Francesco De Ferrari continues to be its chief executive officer, hours after a local media column said he would resign on Thursday, sending the wealth manager’s shares down during trading hours.

Shares of the scandal-hit AMP fell 3.6% before trading was halted for more than 20 minutes leading up to markets close following the column here in the Australian Financial Review.

In a brief statement, AMP said it “confirms Francesco De Ferrari remains as Chief Executive Officer of the group.”

De Ferrari took on the top job in December 2018 after a banking royal commission revealed widespread misconduct by the company, including charging customers for services it did not provide and misleading regulators.

AMP shares have lost more than 40% of their value since he started his role as clients continue to pull their funds amid more scandals.

More recently, Ares Management pulled a A$6.36 billion takeover offer for AMP, instead choosing to buy 60% of the private markets business of its asset management arm. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)